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    Default AL4 Solenoids change

    Hi guys,

    I was there last year, looking for info on my sick AL4 for my 2003 Peugeot 307. At that time, I was not feeling ready to change them myself and my mechanic was way too expensive...

    Since then, I have worked on another car (1991 Toyota Soarer 2.5 TT), change many things on it (ECU, fuel pump...) and I feel that I should be able to change solenoids myself now. I'm still looking at walkthrough, videos, tutos...to learn to try to do it right.

    I'd like to have some return of experience of people who has done it themselves, what to do and not to do in order to make it happen !! ?So I may have a lot of questions but let's start with the most important:

    In addition to the obvious solenoids and transmission fluid, does anyone has a list of what's needed ? I'm not sure if I need to buy magnets, seals...

    I want to quote everything next week to do it in January.

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    Thanks in advance for your inputs !

    Khman

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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    That thread has limited information. Basically just a link to a search result.

    Of course if this discussion moves to that other thread, it will help correct the real problem, which is proliferation of AL4 threads, with no single place to get the most common information. And in line with 'practicing what I preach'...<heads across to other thread>

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    Quote Originally Posted by UNM View Post
    That thread has limited information. Basically just a link to a search result.

    Of course if this discussion moves to that other thread, it will help correct the real problem, which is proliferation of AL4 threads, with no single place to get the most common information. And in line with 'practicing what I preach'...<heads across to other thread>
    And that is true, It was intended as a "starting point" for those ignorant of forum search capabilities, which logically should be the first point of call before asking a question which more than likely has been asked a several dozen times before.

    Remember Af is a knowledge sharing centre and not a series of indexed, detailed, repair chronicles.

    Youtube performs that role far better.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsJBWWLtP7w
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    I agree I'm a kind of newbie for this transmission.

    As UNM said, the thread Al4/dpo transmission discussion ! is very general and as UNM said in it most questions are specific to a car, a problem and a solution with different level of quality in answers.

    I've done my research and based on it, I do believe I can change solenoids, which leads to the real point: to have some return of experience of people who has done it themselves. The aim being they can share their do's and don'ts so other - like me - can avoid some traps and pitfalls - like going several time to Supercheapauto / Repco / Autobarn /... for nuts/screw/grease/....

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    Khman, I have replaced the solenoids on my C5 AL4 several times and have been given plenty of advice from Froggers.
    Make sure you have at least 4 litres of correct transmission oil. I have used Penrite FS as others have used and recommended but my AL4 is still slipping so I cannot guarantee the old friction plates will work. Others swear by it so there is recorded proof that it is suitable.
    Make sure you have a torque wrench that goes down to 7nm. Supercheap do a 1/4" drive but has a long handle but will do the trick. You will also need a good set of torx heads and blue tac to hold them into a socket piece as I have had no luck at finding torx sockets.
    Don't rush rush or you will burr the torx screw heads.
    Take photos or have someone with clean hands take photos at every step.
    Have an 8mm square to undo the drain and filler plugs. Use a household internal door handle square metal rod from bunnings or similar. Try not to buy the soft alloy otherwise it won't last a few unscrews. Cut the rod short to fit into a socket piece.
    Now you are set.
    Leave in Park!
    Now follow all documented instructions.
    The only real trick is refitting the valve block back onto the box. Plug all the cables back in fit the block back into position and make sure the gear selector plunger lines up with quadrant pin. There is a narrow gap in the plunger it should fit into.
    When re fitting roller blade ensure you have a larger washer or as I used a bicycle flat spanner with various sizes to use to hold pressure on the roller blade while tightening the centre screw so that the main roller blade screw can be torqued down.
    This job can be down in a couple of hours but messy due to the amount of oil that gets everywhere especially if you drop your torx bits into the drained oil container.
    Good luck as these do not fix every issue on these boxes.
    P.s. you only need to order the replacement solenoids $US20 plus postage is a typical price.


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    Thanks Dimistyle !
    Lots of good info!
    Seems I will need another torque wrench but that's fine.

    You reckon a couple of hours with the removal of the radiator? That seems so fast...but I don't intend to rush, I even though of 2 days to do it slowly, being sure to take photos and remember what I 've done.

    For solenoids, the cheapest I found on internet so far are at US$43 - free shipping. I'll go today to check supercheapauto for prices.
    If anyone knows a good cheap supplier for those solenoids, feel free to share ! I have contacted [email protected] and [email protected] last week but got no answer...

    Cheers

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    Don't need to pull radiator out on a C5 a small child can fit in there. Plenty of space from above and below. I'll send you solenoid contact details out of China genuine BW units.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dimistyle View Post
    Don't need to pull radiator out on a C5 a small child can fit in there. Plenty of space from above and below. I'll send you solenoid contact details out of China genuine BW units.
    Thanks, I'll contact them this afternoon - after creating a Paypal account. All the one I found so far were not BW but unknown Chinese copy...very cheap - down to $2 per solenoids free shipping!!!
    From the video I saw, seems to be a lot easier on a 307 without radiator. And the C5 is a bit bigger than the 307. Anyway, I'll know it in January when I'll have time to do it.

    Today the car behave strangely (I mean more than usual): just before entering the D'Aguilar Highway, the message for transmission fault pop up on the dashboard but without any change. I was already at 100km/h in 4th gear, and stayed like that for about 10 km. Then when the speed limit changed to 80, as soon as I pressed the brake pedal : bang ! downshift to 3rd gear, sluggish.... a real limp mode
    First time I have the transmission fault but can still drive in 4th gear as long I don't brake !!

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    Ha ha...you must have been heading North I was heading south to Brisbane enjoying 3rd and 4th with converter lockup till I hit traffic at the M3. I was driving in manual and dam auto dropped into 2nd which is non existent due to some valve block issue or F3 brake anyway got into 3rd finally and got to the office at Lutwyche.

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    I'm in Caboolture, and I mostly work in Wamuran. I sometimes have to go to Spring Hill or Rocklea, but if I know it early enough, I take the other car (2008 Forester)

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    So I received the solenoids yesterday morning and decided to change them this afternoon.

    Took me about 4 hours to do it, taking my time and double or triple checking what I had to do ... If I had to do it again, I think I could now do it in less than 2 hours on the same car.

    I didn't drain the transmission before as I've read a thread - that I can't find again but it was not on AussieFrog - where the guy did just raised the front of the car and had quite no fluid leaking. So I give it a try and that's true as you can see on the photo
    AL4 Solenoids change-imgp0022.jpg

    About 1 year ago, I asked my mechanic to check the fluid and he said it was still good. However, here I found the fluid very dark but didn't smelt burned or else. As I have a $100 discount on a transmission fluid change I think I'll use it for the Peugeot and next year will pay full price for the Forester.

    Main interesting point: Solenoids were already Borg Warner - with the black plug.
    AL4 Solenoids change-imgp0018.jpg

    When I had my first issue with the transmission I went to see the mechanic who took care of the car for the 5 years before I bought it and he didn't have any record of it... Same for the Peugeot dealer who serviced the car previously (they're both in Southport)
    Is there a way to know when those solenoids where manufactured ? That may give me an idea of when they were replaced

    Thus, I will assume at first that the transmission ECU is up-to date and that all I need is a fluid change.

    I haven't started the car yet as I need to try to fix an oil leak close to oil filter housing. Will do it tomorrow.
    I also changed the air filter and the cabin air filter that were in real need of it - wonder if they were ever changed...
    AL4 Solenoids change-imgp0020.jpgAL4 Solenoids change-imgp0021.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Khman View Post
    So I received the solenoids yesterday morning and decided to change them this afternoon.

    Took me about 4 hours to do it, taking my time and double or triple checking what I had to do ... If I had to do it again, I think I could now do it in less than 2 hours on the same car.

    I didn't drain the transmission before as I've read a thread - that I can't find again but it was not on AussieFrog - where the guy did just raised the front of the car and had quite no fluid leaking. So I give it a try and that's true as you can see on the photo
    Click image for larger version. 

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    About 1 year ago, I asked my mechanic to check the fluid and he said it was still good. However, here I found the fluid very dark but didn't smelt burned or else. As I have a $100 discount on a transmission fluid change I think I'll use it for the Peugeot and next year will pay full price for the Forester.

    Main interesting point: Solenoids were already Borg Warner - with the black plug.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    When I had my first issue with the transmission I went to see the mechanic who took care of the car for the 5 years before I bought it and he didn't have any record of it... Same for the Peugeot dealer who serviced the car previously (they're both in Southport)
    Is there a way to know when those solenoids where manufactured ? That may give me an idea of when they were replaced

    Thus, I will assume at first that the transmission ECU is up-to date and that all I need is a fluid change.

    I haven't started the car yet as I need to try to fix an oil leak close to oil filter housing. Will do it tomorrow.
    I also changed the air filter and the cabin air filter that were in real need of it - wonder if they were ever changed...
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	92731Click image for larger version. 

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    when we had new solenoids we where shown a document stating the ecu needs too be reset, the only dealer in Adelaide had a 1 week wait time and $160 cost,, I spoke too a puegeot mechanic and he said its not needed on every car.. ours drives lovelly and no more limp home for 2 months, with no ECU reset
    shanadoo likes this.

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    Khman you won't need the ECU upgrade as you already have a compatible version that will work with all black tops.

    Interested to hear how the 1st drive goes see if your trans issues have been solved!

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    I mainly hope I put everything back in the right place.
    The trickiest for me was to put back the manual valve and the roller blade as I didn't had good photo of how it was setup before I dismantled everything.

    If i can finish the car today, I'll try it straight away to see how the transmission behave...

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    The trick is to leave the box in park, loosen off the right hand screw to allow roller blade to slide under the plate washer.
    The middle screw needs to be removed and find a flat washer or make something so that the screw put pressure on to the roller blade as it is tightened.
    Make sure quadrant is fully forward and place end of roller blade into 1st cutout.
    Tighten middle screw to 7nm and right hand screw to 9nm.
    Middle screw can be released and washer removed and reinstall screw.
    All done

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    That's nearly what I've done !
    At first I tried to put everything in place but the 'spring effect" of the roller blade made it impossible to fit right. So I removed it, screwed the whole unit. Then as you said, used a washer to put pressure on the blade to fit it in place. However, I didn't applied specific torque for the middle screw as the manual used a specific tools and states 'screw it to the max' - or something like that.

    Will know soon if I did a good job or if I need to call a wrecker...

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    You'll be fine you can't break it. It will either be correct or miss fitted. Just set it up again.

    Before you take it for a drive ensure you can select all the gears and these are displayed correctly this will be the tell tell if it's incorrect. Good Luck

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    http://kit-group.ru/sections/AL4%20Transmission.pdf is a link to a CitroŽn Training manual FYI hoper it helps
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meggsy View Post
    http://kit-group.ru/sections/AL4%20Transmission.pdf is a link to a CitroŽn Training manual FYI hoper it helps
    Already had and used it.

    I finally had the time today to finish other things on the car - What a PITA this 27mm nut for the oil filter !!
    So took it for a test drive. Good thing is the car was moving, meaning I put everything back in place.
    Before, the transmission was going into limp mode after just 1 or 2 km. After 6 km, I was really hoping it was fixed and then - Bang !! Limp mode again !!! Exactly the same as before

    Kinda disappointed
    I think this evening is the right time to open this good bottle of whiskey and get

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    Do you have planet to check the error codes? Take it for a drive and put into manual and see how each gear pulls. If limp mode activates at least you know where the issue stems from. When it goes into limp mode pull over safely switch off ignition and start again this should allow you to select gears again. Repeat in all gears.
    Can you feel if the converter lockup kicks in, a bit like overdrive. Should active in 2nd to 4th. Not sure about 1st as my box will not move in 1st!!
    Either way you have eliminated the main solenoids as the issue.

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    I can't check error codes. Anytime I asked mechanics to check codes, they told me either "No error code" or they could found only error code linked to the vehicle speed sensor that has been changed 2 times already...
    And when I described the fault on the transmission, they all told me it was because of solenoids... So it seems they were all wrong (one transmission specialist in Southport, one in Burpengary and my mechanic in Caboolture...)

    As you said, at least the main reason of limp mode is eliminated. In Feb, I'll book an appointment to change fluid transmission and I think that'll be it for the transmission.
    I just tried the car around my house so didn't tried 4th gear. Will try again Sunday while going to work.
    Last edited by Khman; 13th January 2017 at 05:36 PM.

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    Any slipping in any gears if not that's good. Probably an internal oil pressure problem. Which can be dirty valve block or multiple other leaks including F1 brake which can be replaced without removing the box

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    I always find automatic transmission slipping as I'm used to manual one.
    What's the F1 brake ? did a quick search but found only results of Formula 1

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